I love dumb engine swaps that completely change the character of a vehicle. Enthusiasts with perhaps too much ambition and too little concern for their own safety have crammed way too big of engines into itty-bitty frames. A great example is this 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited on Hemmings with a monstrous Dodge Viper 8.3-liter 500 HP V10.
According to the ad found by Motor Authority, it started life as a normal Wrangler Unlimited. These versions of the Wrangler had a wheelbase stretched 10 inches to 103.4 inches. Its first owner spent some $13,000 in unspecified upgrades before selling it in 2007. The second owner then handed it off to Burnsville Auto Body and Off-Road of Minnesota to build a Jeep like no other.
Forget a 2021 Wrangler 392, this is way cooler.
The shop sourced the Viper V10 from another one of Dodge’s wild vehicles of the day: a 2006 Ram SRT-10 pickup. The seller says that the engine had less than 33,000 miles at the time and the shop installed it adding proper reinforcement.
Indeed, this looks like something that could have come from the factory this way. Unfortunately, that engine bay looks super tight filled up with the V10, so I imagine servicing it would require a bit of disassembly.
This engine makes 500 HP and 525 lb⋅ft torque and that goes through the donor Ram’s 48RE automatic. That’s more than double the power of the biggest engine available for the Wrangler at the time, the stout 190 HP AMC 4.0-liter straight-six.
Other bits underneath include:
There is a custom-built 241 RockTrac transfer case, a Currie 9-inch Ford front axle, and a Currie Iron Jack 3 Dana 60 rear axle with 35-spline axles. The gear ratio is 4.56:1. Tom Woods 1350 U-joints were installed.
Of course, Wranglers are off-roaders, so there have been some upgrades there, too. It has an eight inch lift, long-arm suspension components, skid plates and rock sliders. Unfortunately, the money you spend on this does not include new tires and the Mickey Thompson Baja TZ tires on it have about 50 percent remaining tread.
It’s unclear how well this drives. This build is shorter in length than the 2021 Wrangler 392 while providing more power. It’s not a Hellcat or a Hellephant (neither engine existed when this was built) but how can you say no to something that idles like this:
The current owner picked it up in 2019 and spent $40,000 in upgrades on it, including seats, bedliner on the floor and other cosmetic changes. According to the CarFax, the odometer’s reading of 32,322 is accurate. They say that their total cost is into six figures on it.
Hopefully this goes for far less than that. Bidding is at $18,500 with reserve not met and four days to go on Hemmings.